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Most Covid apps don't promise protection

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Most mobile applications that track the spread of COVID-19 require access to users' personal data, but only a handful indicate the data would be anonymous, encrypted and secured, according to a study by Indian-origin researchers in the US

New Delhi: Most mobile applications that track the spread of COVID-19 require access to users' personal data, but only a handful indicate the data would be anonymous, encrypted and secured, according to a study by Indian-origin researchers in the US.

Professor Masooda Bashir and doctoral student Tanusree Sharma from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign analysed 50 COVID-19-related apps available in the Google Play store for their access to users' personal data and their privacy protections.

The researchers noted that it is disconcerting that these apps are continuously collecting and processing highly sensitive and personally identifiable information, about health, location and direct identifiers like name, age, email address and voter or national identification of a user.

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